Welcome to the Specht Lab!

Tropical Ginger

The Specht Lab focuses on studies in Plant form and function. 
We use traditional morphological and developmental techniques combined with molecular genetics, comparative genomics and evolutionary biology to study the natural diversity of plants and to help better understand the forces creating and sustaining this diversity.  Our research incorporates elements of systematics, developmental genetics and molecular evolution to study the patterns and processes associated with plant speciation and diversification.  We are part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums (including the UC/Jepson Herbaria and the UC Botanical Garden) and take advantage of living and preserved collections to advance our research in plant systematics, biogeography, and developmental evolution.

Dr. Tanya Renner -- new Assistant Professor at San Diego State University

Former lab member Tanya Renner (PhD in Plant Biology 2012) has accepted a tenure-track position at San Diego State University starting Fall 2015. Tanya will be joining a world renowned biology department with a strong focus on evolutionary biology. Congratulations, Tanya!!

Nisrine and Gracie awarded a 2014 Heckard fund grant

Postdoc Nisrine Machaka-Houri and graduate student Gracie Benson-Martin received a 2014 Heckard Endowment Fund Award to work on species delimitation and population genetics in Calochortus venustus. Congratulations!!

Specht Lab Graduates 2014

Congratulations to Kat Yu, Grady Pierroz and Cameron Musser, our 2014 UC Berkeley Graduates!!

Kat presents Honor's Thesis Research at CalDay 2014

Undergraduate IB major Katharine Yu, 4 year veteran of the Specht Lab, presented her Honors Thesis research at Cal Day 2014.

Riva advances to Candidacy!

Riva passes her qualifying exams and advances to candidacy for a PhD in Plant Biology. Congratulations, Riva!!!

Graduate Student Stephen Yee gets an NSF DDIG!!

Stephen's Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant focused on understanding EMF2-mediated gene regulation in the model moss species P.patens was selected for funding by the National Science Foundation. Congratulations Stephen!!

Grady awarded Student Initiated SPUR grant!

Grady Pierroz, undergraduate major in Genetics and Plant Biology, was awarded a student initiated SPUR to conduct his senior research on the effect of tissue culture on patterns of genome methylation and transposon activity in Musa (bananas)

Zingiberales SEP in Molecular Biology and Evolution

Roxana Yockteng's research on the evolution of the SEP gene family and its role in floral evolution published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Congratulations to Roxana and coauthors Kelsie and Ana!

MONOCOTSV: Almeida wins Arber award

Ana Almeida won the award for best student presentation at the Fifth International Conference on Comparative Biology of Monocotyledons (Monocots V), held at the New York Botanical Garden and Fordham University.

Cover for the Journal of Biogeography

Former UC MEXUS Postdoc Eduardo Ruiz-Sanchez gets the cover of Journal of Biogeography, July 2013 volume, for his research on the phylogeography of the Mexican native monocot Nolina parviflora.


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